The Enterprise Business Graph

Online social networks have enabled a revolution in communications of unprecedented reach, empowering people to easily connect and reconnect with friends, family and professional contacts.  By giving people the tools to communicate in new ways, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have been able to amass a tremendous amount of information about people and their relationships and now manage large “social graphs” which they are monetizing by selling access to their user data.  Facebook sells demographic and purchasing preference data to advertisers, and LinkedIn sells access to its professional audience’s biographical and work experience information to recruiters.  They are both immensely profitable demonstrating that social graph data is extremely valuable.

Public social networks’ appeal lies in their providing a valuable utility to individual users.  They were never intended to be enterprise tools, although enterprises have used them for outward looking activities such as marketing and messaging, on Facebook, and recruiting, on LinkedIn.  Further, since public social networks’ business model is geared to selling their members’ data their interests are antithetical to the interest of enterprises.  Enterprises are clearly not interested in having their entire workforces conducting business on public social networks, inadvertently leaking enterprise activities (travel plans, connections with prospects, or descriptions of the projects on which they are working or have worked) on their Facebook and LinkedIn activity streams, or even worse, having their workforce’s detailed skills and expertise marketed to competitors.

We at Reachable believe that while public social networks have amassed massive relationship data (Friends, Followers and Connections) about their users, this relationship data cannot be readily leveraged by enterprises or by the users themselves in an enterprise context.

Reachable set out to develop the tools to enable enterprises to amass and leverage their own relationship data into an enterprise social graph or, as we call it, an Enterprise Business Graph.

Reachable’s “EBG” have a number of critical features:

  • Reachable is a cloud-based, private platform.  On Reachable, an enterprise can develop its Enterprise Business Graph without exposing its proprietary data to the world.  Reachable has also designed privacy rules and controls designed to protect users’ Social Capital as it is brought within the enterprise IT environment on personal devices and personal cloud services.
  • Reachable integrates social data from employees (imported from their social networks and contact managers) with enterprise data found in CRM systems and other data repositories.  Enterprise data includes information about commercial relationships with vendors, customers, partners and other entities.   These entities have an incentive to share insights about prospects and accounts with the enterprise for their mutual benefits. These special relationships can be brought into the Enterprise Business Graph and exposed to the necessary employees in the company.
  • Reachable’s initial focus is on leveraging the Enterprise Business Graph for sales and business development.  Reachable answers the questions “Who do We Know?” at the enterprise level to identify paths from sales teams to prospects that leverage their own connections, connections of colleagues, and special relationships that the enterprise has with other entities.  Reachable is geared to facilitate the creation of a comprehensive EBG covering the entire enterprise, and to facilitate the sharing of insights inside the enterprise about prospects and accounts.

We at Reachable believe that no effective implementation of “social enterprise” technology can evolve into a strategic business system to leverage the social capital of an enterprise, or its Enterprise Business Graph, unless it is private and can intelligently manage enterprise relationship data and individual relationship data.  We believe that Reachable has developed the tools to build Enterprise Business Graphs and that it has the knowhow to help enterprises create the policies to engender use of this new powerful business system.

Laurent Ohana
CEO, Reachable

To Ask or Not to Ask — for a Referral or Introduction — That is The Question

What does it mean “to network”?

Some people think it means to attend an event and work the room, collect many cards and then follow up.  The events industry is booming because this form of networking works.  It’s also very expensive and that type of relationship building takes time.  That first meeting at the event was just the first step, it could be months or years until something comes out of it, unless you got lucky and sat at dinner with a person looking for what you have to offer just now.

Perhaps networking means going on to LinkedIn and sharing “content” to show that you are a smart, knowledgeable person.  But LinkedIn is a seller’s market — most people there have something to sell.  It’s either themselves (looking for a better job, either passively or actively), or a product/service.  So, most people visiting your content will be there to sell you something not to buy from you.  If you want buyers on LinkedIn, you need to buy an ad, cold email them via InMail, or ask for an introduction.

So, even on LinkedIn, despite the hoopla about Social Selling, to generate business it’s back to basics: ads, emails or intros.  In these domains LinkedIn is not the definitive answer and it has a lot of drawbacks associated with conducting business on a public social network that encourages sharing lots of data about what you do at work and who you connect with.  (People should care about Privacy but enterprises should care about Trade Secrets…)

Going back to basics for a moment, let’s remember that the currency of business is Trust.  

If you are looking for a service provider, what do you do?  You call around to find someone who can recommend someone they liked.  When you hire a new employee, you ask for references from the candidate and then find other references from your network to get more trustworthy references.  Can you compare the length of a sales process via a reference route to via an outbound cold call?  There is no comparison.  Nanoseconds compared to eternity (figuratively speaking).

But not so fast.  Getting a referral is not something you can control,  The phone rings, your buddy Claire is on the other side and she says “my former co-worker Suzie now runs ABC Co, and she asked if I knew a great [fill the blank], so of course I thought of you.”  You can build a business like that but it’s not the way that companies that want to grow rapidly now to meet investor requirements or to preempt competitors do it.  They hire sales teams and they call and email to set up meetings to make sales pitches — it’s the law of big numbers: if they call enough people, even with a small success rate, they could hit their numbers.  May be.

There is another way.

You could try to meet your goals by “asking” for referrals.  If you think about it, referrals and introductions are the two sides of the same coin.  But usually, people think of getting a referral (an uncontrollable mana from heaven) and asking for an introduction (an action you need to take).  But asking for an intro is fraught with social discomfort.

Some people think asking for intros is awkward, like asking for a favor.  That’s really self-defeating, if you don’t mind me saying so.  I don’t know if “working the network” is the key to success of all the successful people in the business magazines.  But if you look at their business trajectories you can see the bread crumbs and how they were collected along the way.  (Unless they just inherited the money, in which case you need to do that with their parents, or grandparents, or great grandparents…).

There are simple rules to making the referral request process acceptable and natural.  They work all the time.

  • Ask for a specific referral:  If you ask “I am looking for investors, do you know any?” then even a person with a full rolodex of investors won’t help.  Why? Too much work for them to figure out who to connect you to.  You need to do your homework, figure out a list of investors you want to talk to, and ask for a specific intro to these people.
  • Ask the right people:  Ask people who trust you in the context of the request.  You know thousands of people.  Which one of them would be comfortable introducing you to this type of person?
  • Be transparent:  You need to tell the person why you need the intro because they need to be able to assess several things.  Does the person on the other side of the intro request need the thing you are offering, and are you credible in providing the product/service?

Anybody can do this.

First, you need to know who you want to reach: you need a list of prospects.  Second, you need to understand to whom your contacts might be able to introduce you: you need a list of all your contacts, their work history, and estimate their ability to make a useful introduction to everyone on your list of prospects.  Third, you need to narrowcast to the relevant contacts that you need an intro, to whom and why.  Fourth, you need to keep track of all this.

OK, it’s a lot of work.

Then let Reachable do it for you in seconds.  

All you need is to invest less than 3 minutes of your time upfront, and tend to it from time to it.  You don’t need to connect to anyone and you don’t need to join a new social network.  There is a version for individuals and there is a version for enterprises that allows creating Teams of people who want to work off a collective Rolodex.

Reachable is more Google than LinkedIn but it has the best of both.

Reachable is for everybody.  But if you are in sales, business development, professional services or any business activity that relies on Trust and Relationships, then Reachable is a must have.

You can get started for free.  We do offer paid tiers of service to pay our data partners which are some of the leading database providers on the planet, and of course pay our data team that makes all this magic happen (and the rest of the Reachable team that makes it all look easy).

How Hillary Clinton Managed to Endorse Reachable’s Data Policy!

March 11, 2015
It’s been two years now that we have been telling CIOs and CEOs that BYOD/TYOD was coming to their enterprise.  We meant “Bring Your Own Data / Take Your Own Data.”
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton said:   “For any government employee, it is that government employee’s responsibility to determine what’s personal and what’s work related…”  WOAW!
If we struck the word “government” from that sentence, I am pretty sure that every CIO in the US (and beyond) would take issue with it.  (Equally sure that the CIO at State and CIA/NSA would also disagree but that’s not a topic for this blog).  For many, she touched the Third Rail.  Someone had to because the issue of who owns and controls the digital footprint and interactions of employees has been swept under the rug for too long.
We have seen the change coming and we believe that its not reversible.  Individuals are learning to take control of their data in the Cloud.  As many relationships are being formed online or quickly becoming digital by means of the obligatory LinkedIn connection request post-meeting or follow up email, a lot of relationship data is accumulating online, in the Cloud.
When individuals take a job, that relationship Cloud is likely to remain cordoned off from enterprise use.  This is certainly the case that individuals will cordon it off if the enterprise by whom they are employed claims ownership of an individual’s relationship data cloud.
Reachable took the position, to the consternation of some CIOs’, that for individuals to share their personal relationship Cloud with the employers, the employers had to disclaim exclusive ownership of it.  That’s why we came up with Bring Your Own Data / Take Your Own Data — in the end, it is extremely beneficial to the enterprise to have access to as much relationship data as possible, and it does not need to have exclusive ownership of digital relationships — like claiming ownership in the LinkedIn connections an employee has developed.  (Really…!)
Secretary Clinton, for one, took the position she was entitled to control her data.
Soon this will be the practical reality in the enterprise, aided by Cloud computing, consumerization of the Enterprise, and the attitudes of the “sharing” generation.  Luckily, Reachable is ready for that day and can provide clients and users a state of the art Relationship Analytics platform that strikes the right balance between personal relationship data and enterprise CRM.  If you have not yet spoken to our sales team, do it now: sales@reachable.com
Best,
Laurent

And the Oscar for Best Enterprise Private Networking goes to …. Reachable!

You might have missed it Sunday night if you checked out before the end of the ceremony.

So, here’s the scoop.  Enterprises are waking up that it’s the morning after LinkedIn.  And they are liking the Reachable story more and more.  Hence, the Oscar! (Excuse me for conflating my watching the Oscars and thinking I was actually there winning one.  It can happen to anyone…)
Here’s what I would have told the interviewer at the post-Awards party:
  • Networks of Enterprises will dominate.  Reachable provides the rules and the technical platform to enable sharing of contact data among a group of collaborators, including people inside an enterprise and members of an enterprise’s ecosystem.  It’s Airbnb for contacts for networked enterprises and networks of enterprises.
  • Employees want to control their data.  Employees are increasingly empowered by social networks to control their data.  CRM tools that are predicated on employees giving up relationship data to the enterprise are doomed.
  • CRM is not where Relationship Data will Reside.  A company’s IT infrastructure is just one of many platforms that employees use to connect with people, build relationships and do business.  As social and business networks proliferate, and as the length of time that anyone spends in any job shortens, the fraction of relationship data that will be captured on an enterprise platform (be it CRM or otherwise) will decrease.
  • Reachable Cracked the Code.  Reachable provides a hosting, analysis and connectivity platform that aggregates all contacts from all networks.  It respects Privacy, protects employee data and enterprise data.
So, thanks to the Academy for recognizing the immense value that Reachable provides to individuals and enterprises!  (But Gartner already gave us our first award back in 2010…!)
Laurent

 

Reachable Fills the Enterprise Void left by LinkedIn

The New York Internet scene has always been fascinating.  Reachable is starting to make waves with the idea that enterprises have networks too that they can mobilize to get things done.

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It’s All About Relationships (& My Holiday Message)

I hope you are not reading this on Christmas Day!  But if you are, I will keep this short to allow you to get to more important things.

The last 2 weeks of December are an odd time for people on the revenue generation side of businesses (aka Sales, Business Development, Deal Makers, etc.).  For most businesses, it’s the last 2 weeks of the business year and the pressure to make the quarterly number and/or the annual number or close that deal are intense.

At the same time, pressures from family and loved ones to disconnect from work are intense.  And the fact that every work team has someone on vacation on the third week or fourth week of December, or both, does not help productivity.  And if you are doing business across the world, it’s even more tricky.  Sure, with laptops and smart phones it does not matter if people are at work.  Not true, things slow down still and everything is more complicated.

How do you get through it? Rely on your relationships.

At work, there are people you can count on that will go the extra mile to get the project done now, get the contract out today, stay an extra hour or respond to an email from the other side of the globe in the middle of the night.  In your business network, there are people on the other side of the phone or email, who will process the invoice today, sign the contract now, review the proposal today, because you asked.  And at home, there are people who will forgive you (again) for a promise half-kept to really disconnect.

That’s who you can count on.

Our Team at Reachable understands that we are here because you, our clients, users, collaborators and friends went the extra mile for us, encouraged us and contributed to our successes.  So, Thank YOU!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Laurent

(Excerpted from the Reachable Newsletter of 12/25/14)

Networking: Is it a bad thing?

It’s December, the holidays are upon us and there are parties everywhere.  Now, I love parties as much as the next guy but I can think of a few friends who are truly compulsive party-goers.  About one of them we might say “John is a networker,” with a bit of better-than-thou attitude.  It’s as if meeting people and having a great time at party is OK, but going to the same party with the intention of meeting as many people as possible and going home with lots of business cards appears less than genuine.

Genuine is a key word in selling.  It’s a rare quality, though.  If you are too aggressive and don’t appear genuine, you will not garner the trust needed to close a sale.  But if you try too hard to appear genuine, you will reveal that this is your modus operandi and lose the trust.  So, bottom line naked aggressiveness won’t work, and aggressiveness cloaked in fake genuineness does not work.  This relationship stuff is hard — an art, not a science.

The compulsive networker has gone online now as well.  He is that guy who boasts “10,000 followers on LinkedIn”.  Do you want to be Connection #10,001 to that guy, or Connection 367 to someone with 366 Connections?  And what about you, will you accept any incoming connection request as a matter of principle, or will you be selective? Do you make the requester wait and sweat it out a bit, or do you accept right away?  Do you personalize the request or just send it?  Networking on a social network often feels as if you emigrated to a new country and had to rebuild your life from scratch, redefine who you were.

Except that you are still here and you have a network, so use it as best as you can.  Reachable uses similar tools to those employed by the giant social networks but it puts these tools in the service of your existing rolodex.  Think of it as having the power of Big Data analytics attached to your rolodex, constantly analyzing it to figure out how your relationships, from the web or real life, can lead to insights and introductions to the people and companies you want to reach.  That’s the big idea behind Reachable (or at least one of them!).

Happy Holidays!

Laurent

[Reprinted from the Reachable Newsletter Dated December 18, 2014]

Creep Factor in Social Networks, not with Reachable

At a business meeting recently, one of my favorite subjects came up: the Creep Factor in Social Networks.

The successful SN’s have become successful businesses because they managed an incredible feat: to simultaneously grow their audience and monetize it by encouraging people to share as much as possible about themselves.  Their mantra is share, share, share and, while that is going on, the SN is observing you, quantifying you for advertisers and engaging you with endless email reminders of why you need to keep on sharing.  It’s a great business, a money printing machine, why didn’t think of it!

But it’s kind of creepy.

So, as we ponder the Consumerization of the Enterprise, will the Creep Factor from the consumer SN’s be imported into the Enterprise?  Gmail managed to go enterprise without too much fracas.  But what about the SN’s whose raison d’etre is to monetize User Generated Content?

Take LinkedIn: it makes money by selling access to the resumes of its members to recruiters.  If I were to use and pay for LinkedIn as my enterprise relationship analytics platform — my collective rolodex, I would be paying for a tool that is responsible for the most successful employee poaching scheme ever invented.  Hmm… Take another example.  You may be happy that your sales team is on LinkedIn amplifying the messages that the marketing department comes up with.  At the same time, if one of your salesperson connected on LinkedIn with a potential customer with whom he’d just had a great sales meeting (the new norm nowadays) but one of his buddies (working for a competitor) happened to notice the new connection and stole the deal from you, how would you feel?

That is why at Reachable, the default setting is PRIVATE.  We keep our users’ data private and our enterprise clients’ data private, and we don’t enable the publishing of data to the outside world thus avoiding prickly compliance issues.  With Reachable you can boost the power of your personal rolodex with the power of Big Data analytics, and you can create Private Contact Networks with colleagues at work but one thing you don’t have to deal with is… the Creep Factor!

[Republished from the Reachable Newsletter dated December 11, 2014]

Reachable Signs S&P Capital IQ to leverage People Data on Social Selling and Enterprise Networking Platform

NEW YORK, NY – July 22, 2014 — Reachable, Inc., a technology company that helps enterprises leverage their relationships for competitive advantage, today announced an agreement with S&P Capital IQ, a leading provider of business research, data and analytics, to provide S&P Capital IQ’s “People Data” on Reachable’s social selling and enterprise networking platform.

Reachable is a third-generation social networking system that enables an enterprise to better leverage its collective rolodex by answering the question “who knows who?”. The web-based platform has unique relationship mapping and scoring, tracking lists and alerts. Under their agreement, S&P Capital IQ’s people data and company profiles are available on the Reachable platform. This unique combination allows Reachable technology to sit on top of verified, institutional quality data – a competitive advantage in leveraging the collective power of personal networks.

“Our combined solution enables users who are involved in business development to be more proactive and gain additional insights on relationship networks that can drive larger opportunities,” said Tim Walker, Managing Director and Head of Global Channel Sales at S&P Capital IQ. “We believe it enhances productivity by giving users a better understanding of customers and what collective relationships they can leverage to reach them.”

“We are very pleased to partner with S&P Capital IQ to offer a compelling product to enterprises wishing to increase revenue generation and retention, and improve their competitive edge,” commented Laurent Ohana, CEO of Reachable. “Reachable enables professionals to aggregate all their social and business contacts on a single unified platform and helps them find the best pathways to business executives they want to reach by leveraging data in their personal contacts and, through Reachable’s enterprise business networking platform, across their enterprise and in premium databases.

The S&P Capital IQ People Database is backed by specialized information management professionals and analysts dedicated to collecting and continuously updating information about some of the most important companies in the US and internationally, including financial institutions, private equity funds, investment banks, asset managers, non-profit entities, educational institutions, and public and private corporations in every key market around the world. Its integration with the Reachable social selling and enterprise networking platform will provide enterprise customers with unique insights and unparalleled access to validated business connections across a global set of companies and executives.

About S&P Capital IQ

S&P Capital IQ, a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE:MHFI), is a leading provider of multi-asset class and real time data, research and analytics to institutional investors, investment and commercial banks, investment advisors and wealth managers, corporations and universities around the world.

S&P Capital IQ provides a broad suite of capabilities designed to help track performance, generate alpha, and identify new trading and investment ideas, and perform risk analysis and mitigation strategies. Through leading desktop solutions such as the S&P Capital IQ, Global Credit Portal and MarketScope Advisor desktops; enterprise solutions such as S&P Capital IQ Valuations; and research offerings, including Leveraged Commentary & Data, Global Markets Intelligence, and company and funds research, S&P Capital IQ sharpens financial intelligence into the wisdom today’s investors need. For more information, visit www.spcapitaliq.com. S&P Capital IQ’s Channel Partnerships Team creates new strategic partnerships and fosters the development of integrated relationships with third-party platforms, technology vendors and start-ups to provide our clients varied access to our data and analytics. They understand the evolving delivery needs of clients, and work to continuously support and enable their growth and success.

About Reachable, Inc.

Reachable, Inc. is a provider of enterprise social networking and social selling solutions that help professionals and enterprises better leverage their relationships to drive sales, business development and recruiting processes. Using patented graph technology, proprietary algorithms, and an architecture designed to protect the confidentiality, privacy and proprietary nature of relationships while still sharing their benefits within enterprises, Reachable is helping to reinvent the world of enterprise business networking. For more about Reachable, please visit www.reachable.com.

Media Contacts

Michael Privitera, S&P Capital IQ, michael.privitera@spcapitaliq.com
212.438.6679
Renee Harper, Reachable, Inc., renee.harper@reachable.com
212.480.1312
Andria Arena, Reachable, Inc., andria.arena@reachable.com

Reachable Honored as a “Model of Excellence” at DataContent 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA — October 10, 2012 – At DataContent 2012, Reachable, a leader in social business solutions, today was recognized as a “Model of Excellence” by the InfoCommerce Group for resetting the standards for excellence in the data and content industries. (more…)